What is the difference between “Red” Ginseng and “White” Ginseng?
Ginseng is naturally white or off-white when harvested. The manner in which it is then dried determines the color. In ancient times red ginseng was ginseng which had been dried in the sun. In modern times red ginseng is often steamed during processing, which has the similar effect of changing the color to red. In both cases this is probably due to the caramelizing of sugars in the root. Red ginseng is considered more warm, or “yang” than white ginseng. It has been theorized that the effect sun-drying or steam drying has on the ginsenocides, the principal active ingredients of ginseng root, may be no different than the effect caused by simply infusing a dried white root into tea.